2. The Soothing Embrace of Helplessness
I stand. you instinctively bow your head and assume a prone position at my feet. I lift a heavy boot and press its sole firmly into the exposed skin between your shoulders. As I see the goosebumps rise on your flesh and feel the sigh as your body sinks into inevitability, I feel my crotch stiffen.
I lift my foot and see the imprint left behind before I move slowly, scanning the room as I entertain possible scenarios.
“St. Andrew calls you to take up his cross.”
you press yourself off the ground and move silently toward the saltire cross. I wait until you have assumed the inspection position, feet shoulder width apart and planted firmly, wrists crossed low behind you, head bowed, eyes open. your newfound eagerness make Me smile.
I pull a set of padded fist mitts out of a cabinet and hold them in your line of sight. you present your hands, wrists up and watch as I render them useless.
you comply before I throw you off balance when I shove you forward into the smooth wood frame. Before your gasp fully exits your body, I lift your left arm, then your right, securing them in turn to the large o-rings on either side. A moment later, your ankles are similarly secured.
“Helplessness isn’t something to be feared,” I trace my fingers along the muscles of your neck, down your spine. “It’s something to be embraced.”
The handle of the flogger feels cool in my grip. I roll my wrist in a slow figure eight to stretch and warm up the muscles of my hand and forearm. It’s just close enough that you feel the air moving and arch your back in anticipation. I introduce leather to skin with a smooth rolling circular pattern, slowly moving across your shoulders to awaken them.
“It’s one thing to say you’re ready. It’s another to back up your words. Let’s see how ready you really are.”
I increase the intensity, changing the rhythm. THUD! two, three, four. THUD! two, three, four. THUD! two, three, four… I can see the color beginning to rise in your skin. you haven’t moved or made a sound. I stop.
As if on autopilot, your brain instantly scans and reports your pain level on a scale of 1-5.
I raise my eyebrow with a smirk. This is going to be fun. I resume, changing to a cross-body or infinity pattern. THWACK! THWACK! Pause. THWACK! THWACK! your weight shifts slightly. Now we’re getting somewhere.
“Humans are fascinating creatures. Our minds are so strong.”
“We lock so much inside of ourselves out of shame, fear of rejection. Our minds become a fortress.”
“The more time that passes, the thicker those walls become until we feel lost and isolated, unable to remember how to find our way out of the fortress we created.”
I pause to kiss your tender back, glistening with a deliciously cold sweat. I press my body against yours and feel you shiver as I whisper in your ear.
“It’s time to break you out. I’m here to help, but it’s going to hurt. you better hold on.”
The cat o’ nine crackles as it makes first contact with a POP! I hear you inhale in an attempt to bury an involuntary gasp. Let’s go.
“Rolling check in.”
“Sir, yes Sir! 3, Sir!”
you inhale hard. “4! Sir!”
“Are you sure it’s not a 5? Sounds like a 5 to Me.”
“Sir, yes Sir! i’m sure, Sir!
POP! POP! . . . POP!
“How’s your heart? Don’t you want to tell me about your heart?”
“Sir, no Sir!”
“Sir, yes Sir!” your voice is shaking. “Break it, Sir. It’s yours.”
I step back and stretch my forearm and hand before reaffirming my grip. The cat sings across your back in rapid fire.
POP! POP! . . . POP!
you’ve gone quiet, but the stakes are too high for Me to allow you to disappear into subspace.
“I can’t hear you. CHECK IN!”
you pause. I do not.
“5, SIR! 5!”
your body goes limp as you begin to sob. There it is. I remove the ankle restraints, then the mitts before draping your arm over my shoulder and guiding you to the bed where you bury your face in my chest and continue to cry.
I stroke your hair until the tears subside. We lay in silence until I feel your breathing become steady. I turn on the overhead light to inspect your back, tending to the wounds with a soft touch. I open a bottle of water and guide it to your still-trembling lips. My voice is gentle and firm as I break the silence.
“I didn’t think you’d be able to get there. you proved me wrong. I am proud of you.”
I could feel your body absorb and prepare to react to my words, but now wasn’t the time for that.
“I don’t need you to respond. It’s time to rest.”
I produced a sleeping hood from the bedside table. you look up at me, your eyes blissful floating pools of surrender. you bow your head and I buckle the hood in place before turning off the light and returning to my chair to watch over my new boy as he sleeps the first sleep of freedom.